The following post is not based on any real events that transpired in the life of a baker named Yvonne who actually had a little bakery in a small village with her pastry chef daughter Carrie Ann. I repeat— it was not actually based on any true events, as that little town didn’t even have a movie theatre! The reality is that it is based on a repeated nightmare that the baker Yvonne had every year at Christmas time:
I bought a movie ticket, then left the theatre through an inside exit. The acrid smell of smoke still burned in my nostrils, the blood pounded fiercely at my temples, deafening me to any audible clues that someone, might be following me, that someone had seen. My feet, oblivious to my panic-induced rush, seemed in fact to be slowing me down. I felt as if the very soles of my Nikes were sticking to the gravel in the alley. My every step was becoming heavier and heavier! I looked down and saw that that was exactly what was happening! The treads of each shoe were heavily encrusted with stones embedded in goo. Had the rubber actually melted?
My nose told me otherwise. It was molasses! How stupid of me! Of course!
Maybe I should simply have locked up and gone out the front door as usual… If I had walked down the street and around the corner to the parking lot behind the church where my van was waiting, maybe no one would have been the wiser. But what if I had run into everyone coming out the front doors of the church? They would wonder why I was out at this hour, on this night of all nights. Why wasn’t I bent over my work until dawn as I should have been, as I always had been on this very night for the last thirty years? Unthankful lot!
Too bad! Life happens! It had finally hit the fan!
I flung open the van’s door, jumped in and floored it! No time to waste—If it had happened a half hour later I would have needed to run out and leave this town for good. The detour through the nearly deserted theatre next door saved me a minute or two en route to the van and the only one to see the splattered evidence across my shirt front was a zoned out teenaged ticket-taker texting his girlfriend.
Down the 402 at high-speed I watched for cops at the crest of every hill and approaching every wooded area. Definitely not a good time to be pulled over.
The night sky was lit up from a full five miles away. My heart was pounding in my ears again as I pulled into the lot. Not a good day to have forgotten to take my blood pressure pills!
I crunched my way in through the front doors and grabbed the biggest honkin’ cart I could find and ran for the bakery. “Give me everything you’ve got it’s an emergency!” I screamed at the girl behind the big glass wall, like some escapee from fat-camp, with a deadly drop in blood sugar. “Bring me some more carts boys!” I yelled at her hair-netted sidekicks!
“Yesss!! I’ve got American Express and a Costco card! Load me up!”
“All the pies! All the tarts! All the cookies and squares…and buns too!”
Thirty minutes later I wheeled out to my van with an entourage of baffled Costco employees each pushing a heaping cart full of baked goods. They would have had smiles on their faces if they’d only known what had been accomplished by their working late that night. They had saved Christmas! Well, maybe not Christmas, but at least Christmas dinner for the dessert lovers in our one-bakery town—that bakery being mine.
My molasses-splattered smoked-out bakery. My bakery with its second-hand ovens and its big old stove with its marbled gob of melted plastic-molasses taffy flowing down its front and on to the floor. My wobbly ancient cooling fan with a tremor so bad it had vibrated a full gallon jug of molasses off the shelf above it and onto the neighbouring stove. My splattered pies and smoky cookies which would not need packaging at all this year; their grateful recipients would be Farmer Bob’s delighted hogs. My plastic wrapped bundles of bakery boxes, which would soon hold treats ( not of our own making, but nevertheless priceless.) Which, in the case of unannounced substitutions, would mean “Free”.
Ah well, next year just might be our best year ever, and if that’s thanks to Costco, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!
As I forewarned you at the beginning, this story was not a true event, it was a nightmare, as much as being hunched over the bakery table, decorating sugar cookies until 2020—the thirty years in the story—would be for me today. The bakery was very successful from its beginning in 1990 until we sold it ten years later. We just got tired of the sleep deprivation that caused us to nod off during every family celebration of Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mothers Day, and Fathers Day. You know you’re in trouble if a cake comes back because you wrote on it Happy z z z z z z z z.